Corn archive

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Bioenergy > Ethanol > Corn > Corn archive


Note: This page is an archive of past information related to corn. For more recent information, see the corn page.

Contents

Events

2010 Corn-related events

For upcoming events, see the events section of the BioenergyWiki page on corn.

2008 Corn-related events

News

2010 Corn-related news

See the news section of the BioenergyWiki page on Corn.

2009 Corn-related news

  • EPA delays action on more ethanol in gasoline, 1 December 2009 by Reuters: "Newer American cars will likely be able to handle higher ethanol blends in their gasoline but the decision to approve an industry request to change the fuel mix will have to await final testing next year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday."
    • "The EPA was supposed to decide by December 1 on a petition from Growth Energy and 54 ethanol manufacturers to let gasoline contain up to 15 percent ethanol."
    • "While farmers who provide the corn to make ethanol also support the initiative, automakers asked the EPA during the summer not to approve higher blends until the agency had test results showing the fuel would not damage vehicles."
    • "Energy legislation passed by Congress in 2007 set binding targets for fuel blending each year, with ethanol use rising from 4 billion gallons in 2006 and 11.1 billion gallons in 2009 to 20.5 billion by 2015 and 36 billion by 2022."[1]
  • Bioenergy Makes Heavy Demands On Scarce Water Supplies, 4 June 2009 by ScienceDaily: "The 'water footprint' of bioenergy, i.e. the amount of water required to cultivate crops for biomass, is much greater than for other forms of energy. The generation of bioelectricity is significantly more water-efficient in the end, however – by a factor of two – than the production of biofuel. By establishing the water footprint for thirteen crops, researchers at the University of Twente were able to make an informed choice of a specific crop and production region. They published their results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) of 2 June."
    • "Water that is used for bioenergy – whether it be for a food crop such as maize or a non-food crop such as jatropha – cannot be used for food production, for drinking water or for maintaining natural eco-systems."[3]
  • For climate change bill, hard part starts now, 31 May 2009 by San Francisco Chronicle: "To get the climate change initiative to the House floor - and ultimately passed by the chamber - Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, must first run it through a gantlet of eight congressional committees headed by fellow Democrats who claim a piece of the action."
    • " [The] 46-member Agriculture Committee...is poised to make major alterations of the climate change plan, including overhauling the way the Environmental Protection Agency calculates the greenhouse gas emissions from alternative fuels made from corn and other plant materials...to make sure that when corn and other crops are made into biofuels, they qualify as low-carbon fuels under federal mandates."
    • "...corn-based ethanol advocates are worried about an EPA proposal to include 'indirect land use' changes - such as the clearing of forest for new farmlands - as part of any calculations on the carbon footprint of biofuels."
    • "Republicans...have largely united against the legislation, which they say would impose a hefty 'energy tax' on every U.S. business and consumer."
  • Water worries cloud future for U.S. biofuel, 14 April 2009 by Reuters: "Critics argue that precious water resources are being bled dry by ethanol when water shortages are growing ever more dire. [U.S.] Federal mandates encouraging more ethanol production don't help."
    • "Corn is a particularly thirsty plant, requiring about 20 inches of soil moisture per acre to grow a decent crop, but most corn is grown with rain, not irrigation. Manufacturing plants that convert corn's starch into fuel are a far bigger draw on water sources."
    • "Water consumption by ethanol plants largely comes from evaporation during cooling and wastewater discharge. A typical plant uses about 4.2 gallons of water to make one gallon of ethanol, according to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy."
    • "The ethanol industry pegs that at about 3 gallons of water to 1 gallon of fuel."[6]
  • Corn Ethanol Industry Attacks California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard, 8 March 2009 by GreenBiz.com: "The California Air Resources Board (CARB) released proposed regulations for a Low Carbon Fuel Standard last week to reduce transportation fuel emissions 10 percent by 2020. By requiring fuel providers to sell cleaner fuels, regulators expect about 20 percent of fuel used in the state will be supplanted with alternatives, such as biofuels, hydrogen and electricity."
    • The "new rules are already facing stiff resistance from the corn ethanol industry, which is urging CARB to reject its staff's recommendations and arguing the new rules unfairly penalize ethanol using unproven science."
    • "At issue is the CARB staff's recommendations to include greenhouse gas emissions from indirect land use change in the calculation of biofuel carbon intensity, even though similar impacts aren't used in the intensity calculations of other fuels."[7]
Ret. General Wesley Clark, at Growth Energy press conference, 5 February 2009, in Washington, D.C.
  • Former NATO Commander Clark joins ethanol group, 5 February 2009 by The Hill: "A new ethanol group in a lobbying war with the Grocery Manufacturers Association has tapped a man with real fighting experience to help run the campaign."
    • "Former NATO Commander and Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark was introduced today as co-chairman of Growth Energy, a new organization designed to promote corn ethanol."
    • "Growth Energy is also pushing to increase a regulatory cap on the amount of ethanol that can be mixed with gasoline and for the continued tax support for the industry."[9]

2008 Corn-related news

  • Economy Shifts, and the Ethanol Industry Reels, 4 November 2008 by the New York Times: "As producers of ethanol navigate a triple whammy of falling prices for their product, credit woes and volatile costs for the corn from which ethanol is made, an economic version of 'Survivor' is playing out in the industry."
    • "Last week, VeraSun, one of the nation’s largest ethanol producers, announced that it had filed for bankruptcy protection after its bets on the price of corn turned out to be wrong — and costly."[11]
  • Can Biofuels Be Sustainable?, 20 August 2008 by ScienceDaily: "Research published this month in Agronomy Journal examines one biofuel crop contender: corn stover."
    • The researchers "suggest that a portion of corn stover could be harvested for biofuel production without reducing soil organic carbon levels in high yielding systems. However, since this study did not study the direct impact of stover removal, that aspect remains to be evaluated."
  • Uprising Against the Ethanol Mandate, 23 July 2008 by the New York Times: "Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to temporarily waive regulations requiring the oil industry to blend ever-increasing amounts of ethanol into gasoline. A decision is expected in the next few weeks."
    • "His request for an emergency waiver cutting the ethanol mandate to 4.5 billion gallons, from the 9 billion gallons required this year and the 10.5 billion required in 2009, is backed by a coalition of food, livestock and environmental groups."
    • "In ethanol’s home ground of the Midwest, where much of the corn is grown and the additive is made, Mr. Perry’s petition was opposed by 12 governors. Senator Charles Grassley, Republican of Iowa, accused the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the group leading the public relations fight against ethanol, of 'treasonous' acts."[12]
  • Food-related industries launch anti-biofuel campaign, 10 June 2008 by Bloomberg.com, in the Houston Chronicle: "The Grocery Manufacturers Association, the American Meat Institute, the National Restaurant Association and other groups say rising corn-based ethanol production is pushing food costs higher." Their new lobbying alliance, "Food Before Fuel", is "calling on Congress to step back and re-evaluate our biofuels policy, which is distorting the marketplace and harming the environment and consumers."[13]
  • The World Food Crisis, 10 April 2008, editorial by the New York Times: "Last year, the food import bill of developing countries rose by 25 percent as food prices rose to levels not seen in a generation....The increases are already sparking unrest from Haiti to Egypt....The rise in food prices is partly because of uncontrollable forces — including rising energy costs and the growth of the middle class in China and India....But the rich world is exacerbating these effects by supporting the production of biofuels."
    • "The International Monetary Fund estimates that corn ethanol production in the United States accounted for at least half the rise in world corn demand in each of the past three years."
    • "At best, corn ethanol delivers only a small reduction in greenhouse gases compared with gasoline. And it could make things far worse if it leads to more farming in forests and grasslands. Rising food prices provide an urgent argument to nix ethanol’s supports."[14]
  • "Corn... fuel... fire! U.S. corn subsidies promote Amazon deforestation", 8 January 2008 press release from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute: According to STRI researcher William Laurance, "Amazon deforestation and fires are being aggravated by US farm subsidies...that promote American corn production for ethanol." Corn subsidies also result in farmers reducing production of soy -- thus increasing global soy prices, which in turn promotes burning of forests in the Brazilian Amazon in order to clear land for soy cultivation.
    • According to Laurance, "The evidence of a corn connection to the Amazon is circumstantial, but it's about as close as you ever get to a smoking gun."[15]

2007 Corn-related news

  • Ethanol's Growing List of Enemies, 19 March 2007 from Business Week. An unlikely coalition of livestock farmers, free-marketers, and environmentalists is coming together to oppose government subisidies for corn ethanol.

2006 Corn-related news

  • Rapid ethanol expansion questioned 27 November 2006 from thestarpress.com. While Indiana has 18 ethanol plants proposed or under construction, a Purdue University agricultural economist has suggested that only 7 to 9 will be built due to limits on the amount of corn. The proposed plants would use almost two-thirds of all corn produced in Indiana.
  • Stover to Fill Part of Ethanol Goal for US 22 November 2006 from the Des Moines Register. A report issued by the Biotechnology Industry Organization on Tuesday estimated that it was "realistic" to harvest 30 percent of the available stover nationwide to yield 5 billion gallons of ethanol. Most of the stover would continue to be left in the field for environmental reasons as the decaying plant material prevents soil erosion and adds ground nutrients. The US DOE has set a goal of 60 billion gallons of ethanol by 2030. However that goal assumed the use of 70% of stover for ethanol.


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